DrivenNet is a business networking membership group for business owners, directors and senior managers. We meet up monthly within the context of a mutual appreciation of cars – which provides the ideal common ground for easy conversation. Run a business and love cars in Yorkshire and the North East? We are just what you need!
However as our focus is networking at a higher level it can be easy to adopt bad habits from a networking perspective. We don’t manage your time. We don’t orchestrate business ‘speed dating’, 2 minutes per person to explain who you are and what you do – and neither do we insist on anyone presenting their business if they don’t want to. We do it differently – expecting everyone in the room to know how to make connections, foster relationships and share details. DrivenNet is advanced business networking.
However, sometimes, the more executive the crowd, the less likely they are to remember to bring a business card. And we may forget the fundamentals of networking, especially when we’re in the presence of some awesome vehicles and excellent surroundings.
We make it easy to enjoy DrivenNet events. It’s our mission to make it ‘networking as it should be’ and not some awful experience where a rapid presentation of what your business is all about is uncomfortable to make and also to watch. But we do want our members to get the most from the meetings.
Here are 5 top tips that everyone needs to draw on - with the aim of meeting other business people and creating meaningful contacts:
Don’t forget your business card This may be a traditional piece of printed card or one of the many different digital versions available. However you want to distribute your details, it’s important that you can. Swap details and agree to have a coffee at a separate date. Take the business talking away from the venue.
Be interested Everyone at the meeting is there for the people and the cars (and maybe the coffee). If you’re not at ease meeting new people, just ask questions. Have a few up your sleeve that will get the conversation started. The cars and venues make this easier than your standard hotel meeting room. “What brought you here?”; “Have you been a member long?”; “What business are you in?”; “Do you know many people here?” are all easy and natural ways to make a start.
Introduce others If you know a few people already, make introductions wherever you can, especially for new members. It will establish you as helpful, supportive and someone who has a network. This works well if you can introduce people who may have something in common.
Ask for help The more senior we are, the less likely we are to ask for help when we need it. We are so used to having all the answers so it can be a brave move to ask someone what they know about AI, wave energy, electric vehicles – or whatever it is you’d like to know more about. People love to help and dispense useful advice. Let them. It could be the start of something.
Use the environment The DrivenNet founder is mad about cars which is what prompted the concept. It’s a win-win to combine business within this sector, with willing hosts and varied venues on hand to show their fantastic products, services and premises. Use the energy and enthusiasm in the room. Grab a coffee, wander around and engage with the hosts and members.
DrivenNet has been designed to bring people together in a relaxed way. We do it very well. But don’t forget to bring your business cards!